Archive | February, 2010

On Being That Girl

I am a cryer.

I used not to be.  In fact, I could count on one hand the things that made me cry: Pixar, animals, and third-world poverty.  That was it.  Nothing else even MOVED me.

Then I had a baby.

Suddenly, I am a CRYER OF ALL THINGS.  Like, seriously.  It’s ridiculous.

This morning, I was treating myself to a Starbucks run (although it was the cheapest coffee trick in the world: order a misto instead of a latte and save yourself $$ AND calories).  I ordered at the speaker, and while waiting to get to the window for pick-up, an On-Star commercial came on.  A woman called On-Star because her son was having a seizure.

“Baby, look at ME,” the mother coaxed.  “LOOK AT MOMMA,” the mother begged.

“Ma’am, just let your son seize,” coached the On-Star rep.  “Turn him on his side if he starts coughing.”

And I?  Made it to the window a blubbering mess.  Sobbing.  The poor window attendant didn’t know what to say.  “On-Star,” I sobbed.  “Her son was seizing.”  The Starbucks lady just nodded and handed me my drink.

“Have a nice day,” she said, cautiously.

****

I took Tony to the park last weekend.

It should be noted that I have a firm agreement with gravity that strictly prohibits any of the following: carousels, skates of any kind, roller coasters, and slides.  Yes, slides.  I wouldn’t get on one until I was, like, eleven and even then I had a mental breakdown at the top.  I was a worrier.

This, however, was my child.  Nothing could stop him.  It’s hard to let go of my issues and let my child roam without The Fear.  But I know it’s the right thing to do.

****

Last night, we took the boys to a Chick-Fil-A with an indoor play area. We had a great tease of spring this weekend, with highs almost in the 70s, but now we’re suffering back through snow flurries. Which a child who is now “SIDE” obsessed doesn’t understand. “SIDE?” he asks all the time now. “PARK?!”

We hadn’t anticipated being the one of a hundred families with this same idea, and the HUGE, three-story play area was FILLED with crazed children.

Jack, being the amazing big brother he is, calmly held Tony’s hand. He lifted Tony through I don’t know how many tubes and steps that Tony is just not big enough to tackle on his own yet. He coaxed him into the higher levels, encouraging Tony to look down and wave to us from whatever monstrous height they were at. The slide proved to be too much for Tony to take on, so Jack patiently got him all the way back down, never losing patience or getting frustrated that he wasn’t free to play.

I wasn’t a cryer before.

But I’m always amazed at what causes my heart to overflow now.

Comments { 10 }

Some Stuff I’ve Bought Lately

I haven’t done one of these in awhile.  Mostly because I’ve been trying not to buy things.  But I have, nonetheless, ended up purchasing some stuff.  And Bryan asked me about them the other day, so maybe I should report out.

I owe it to you, my lovely readers.

I have been coveting these shoes for a LOOOOOONG time.  Then, when the doctor blessed me with a cancer-free boob, I was walking through the mall (I was actually buying a dress for a ball that we ended up not attending), and I passed by a Hibbetts.  I have actually TRIED to find these shoes in stores for awhile, but they either didn’t have the color palette I wanted (the pictured white/pink combo is the least ugly to me), or they didn’t have my size, or they were charging $150 for them.

Lo and behold, they had them in white/pink.  And in my size.  And they were on sale for $90.  THE STARS ALIGNED.

So I bought them.  I’ve had them for about three weeks now, and I wear them almost every day.  Even with dress pants.

Have I seen a change in my ass/thighs/hips?  No.  Not really.  BUT, and I say this is complete and total honest, it has helped my posture tenfold.  I’ve never really had an issue with posture, per se, but I tend to walk incorrectly.  I feel this in my hips ALL THE TIME.  This has taken away all of my pain in my hips entirely.  They pop less often, they’re not sore at the end of the day, blah blah blah.  So while they’re not magic diet pills, I have seen a positive impact from them.

I bought this Merona shirtdress to use mostly as my Derby Announcer persona, Lucille Maul, but honestly?  It’s so freakin’ cute that I may have to wear it elsewhere.  Everyone wanted to know where I got it and when I told them Target for less than $40, they all went nuts.  Understandably.  Mucho cute.

Probably the most amazing was that we spent A BUTTLOAD OF MONEY ON ANIMALS.  Granted, all of our animals are rescues, so they were all free, but we got them shot up and fixed this last month.  While Beau, the puppy in the first picture, didn’t change much from his already perky self, Lola (the cat in the second pic) has transformed from a generally bitchy animal to a loving, affectionate cat who is ON ME ALL THE TIME.  The cat who liked no one is now solidly in my camp, sleeping on my feet at night and warming my lap while I type.  Right this second, as a matter of fact.  I never thought having an animal fixed would so dramatically alter their personality, but this cat?  This cat, I love.

So.  Until I go clothes shopping for my new job, that’s all I have to show you.

What’s your wallet been up to?

Comments { 5 }

The Sarah I Want to Be

“You’re in the wrong line of business – move on girl! You need to use your REAL gifts and talents and act, sing, etc. I’m totally serious. Get out there and go for it and go all the way with it. I wish I had a sharp and quick sense of humor as well as the ability to act and perform. One day you may look back and think, why didn’t I do more of..?”

A typical email from a coworker.

In early March, I’m making a move to be the Sarah I want to be.

This is both terrifying and completely enthralling.

My company has been good to me through the years, providing me endless skill sets and tons of friends and great experiences and all that jazz, but with layoffs looming and budget cuts aiming for our main arteries, an opportunity presented itself that was, in essence, what I’ve always wanted to explore.

And even more, I’m already pretty good at this field.  And I know how to expand it.

And I’m psyched.

And I’m terrified.

But for now?

I’m psyched.

Life’s too short, and the chances are too few.

Comments { 9 }

Other People’s Children

So.. I think I scared the staff at daycare today.

It started yesterday.

Tony has a classmate in daycare, whom I’ve written about before, and he’s been in the same class as Tony through two preschools and over a span of three years.  I think of this child as my own.  Which, I know, is weird since I only see him for a few minutes a day.  But whatever.

There is a new child that gets grouped in with Tony’s class when the day is winding down and they start consolidating.  This child is older. 

Now, for the last few weeks, I swore Tony has told me to SHUT UP! on several occassions.  I figured I had to have been hearing him wrong; we don’t say that in our house and frankly, we’re not sure where he would hear it.  I assumed I was mistaken.  But even his INFLECTION was right; he’d say it out of anger, and pound his fist when he said it.  But, like all parents, I just dismissed it.

Yesterday, I stopped in to pick up Tony.  As always, the gang of boys ran over to say hey and to tell me about their day, and my other child said, “He hit my back!  He hit my back!”.  I asked him to show me and, sure enough, there was a red welt on his back.  The older child was being scolded in the back, with a mere “We don’t hit” and then dismissed.

Well, okay.  Whatever.

So my other child and I were singing a song and the older troublemaking child came over and told me to SHUT UP! DON’T SING! SHUT UP! and I looked up at him.  The afternoon teacher?  Said nothing.  Nada.  Ah.  So this is where Tony had heard it.

Then, while I was getting Tony’s jacket, that child came over and PUNCHED MY OTHER CHILD IN THE EYE.  I gathered him in my arms and tried to coax him into a calm enough state to check out his eye, while the child was told (AGAIN) that “We don’t hit”, where he promptly went and stole a book from another child and beat them over the head with it.

Needless to say, I was quite livid.  Momma Cougar had surfaced.

Bryan chuckled while I recounted this story.  “If you’re this protective over our non-child, I can’t imagine you if Tony were ever affected,” he smiled.

So today, this morning, I dropped Tony off and spoke to the morning teacher about it.  This child isn’t in there all the time, she pacified me.  Just on rare occasions.  And apparently the boys routinely get rough with eachother.

Well, okay.  They ARE two year old boys, after all.  Boys will be boys and what have you.

So today, I go in to pick Tony up and stepped in to the closed area to grab his jacket and bag.  Everyone was in a good mood, smiling and laughing and telling me about their day.

AND THAT CHILD?  REARED OFF AND SLAPPED ME ON THE THIGH.  IT STUNG.

… and I sort of don’t know what happened next, but I went all SuperNanny and grabbed the child by his arms and sat him in time out, sternly holding his gaze and growling, “No sir.  Hitting is unacceptable.  You will sit here for three minutes and then you will apologize.”

The afternoon teacher just stared at me.

I got up and dressed Tony to leave. 

“I’m.. I’m very sorry,” she said, quietly. 

“They’re all allowed one chance to hit,” I said, trying to force a smile.  “That’s how they learn.” 

Tony pointed at the child and said, “We be nice, okay, momma?”

Yes, I nodded, and we started to leave.  “And don’t you dare let that child up out of time out before his three minutes is up,” I cautioned the teacher.  It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s still got him there.

The director wasn’t there when we left, but I figure I owe her a conversation at this point.  I very clearly overstepped my boundaries by laying hands on a child when I don’t work there.  And I should say that we’ve been at this location for two years now and really truly love them.  What would you have done?

Comments { 15 }

How I Could Be That Person

“I don’t know you can watch this, Sarah.  It’s sad.  And disgusting.  And these people are selfish.”

I shrug.  “I’ll bet you money that they have OCD.”

He looks at me.  “What?”

“I could get this way.  I fight it.  Every day.”

Hoarders is something I TiVo every week, but we inevitably watch it live.  There’s nothing else on, really, during that time slot, and I have to watch it.  If I don’t, I feel like I’ll forget and I won’t ever find time for it later. And I need to remember.

See, every time I see one of those shows, I realize just how easily that could be me.  We all joke about my OCD, about how it keeps my house clean, probably obnoxiously so, and how it’s such a blessing to have.

Sure, it is.  Sorta.  I mean, you don’t know the exhaustion of never being able to relax because your house is dirty.  Especially when your version of “dirty” really just means “slightly messy .. lived in” to most other people.  I mean, sure, I’m sure my family is so glad that I have this compulsion, but they don’t understand that I fight resenting them when they don’t have the same compulsion.  That when Bryan leaves dishes out or when Jack doesn’t clean his room that I take it personally.  How can they live like that? that part of my brain asks itself.  They’re just NORMAL, the other part responds.

OCD and perfectionism is, at its core, something that we can’t always control.  We may be able to keep the symptoms to a minimum (without medication), but if it spirals out of our control .. and it does, and mind-blowingly quickly .. the result becomes despair.  Depression.

A dirty house?  Really, severely dirties our minds.  We don’t function, we can’t sleep, and we’re overwhelmed by the clutter.

Bryan and I have had these buttons for years: the buttons where he’ll put stuff down for some hypothetical later date and I can’t deal with the clutter and just toss it.  This is constantly an issue.  It’s part of why I’m so detail-oriented; the organization is a coping mechanism.  He puts up with it, forgives me, and the cycle continues.  Cause it’s who we are, and it’s how we deal.

Every Sunday, I take this quiet, boastful stand that I WILL NOT PICK UP AFTER ANYONE THIS WEEK.  Inevitably, by Sunday night, I’m doing some whirlwind cleaning because I just can’t deal with it.  If it means I’m the maid, so be it.  I have to have it clean.  “Messy” is not an option in this house; it is very black and white.  It is either clean, or it’s dirty.

You know how a skein of yarn looks when you get it?  An OCD person will have a hard time unraveling that first string.  Because the pattern, the consistency, the mental clarity will be lost.  And will never be had again. 

Or when you open a fresh, clean notebook?  An OCD person will have a hard time making that first mark.  Nothing will ever be as good as that clean sheet of paper.

And when the house loses the “clean”, it’s sink or swim.  It’s far too easy to be overwhelmed and lost in the sinking mess.  I firmly believe that that’s how hoarders start.

Or how I would.

If A&E didn’t remind me once a week not to get that way.

Comments { 7 }